Vseslav Volkov: Russia not for Russians. Why Vladimir Putin is not a Nationalist

There is  common inclination among the right-wingers living outside the countries of the former Soviet Union – which seems absurd  for us (as residents of countries which are firsthand familiar with Putin’s regime) – to imagine Putin’s Russia as the stronghold of “white right conservatism.” Among Putin’s “right-wing friends” in the West, there are many who, alas, went to a conscious cooperation with the Kremlin, in the hope of obtaining political or even financial dividends from it. However, we believe that the bulk of supporters of Putin and modern Russia are people who – for one reason or another – have been deprived of objective information about what is happening in this country, forced to base their assessments on Kremlin sources such as Russia Today, or judging about Russia and Putin on the basis of popular western liberal “horror stories” – giving out wishful thinking. We would like to correct this, and for this we publish a short review from our adherent, a Russian nationalist who lives in this country and has been involved in the activities of the Russian far-right movement for more than 15 years.


From the author

Dear readers! With these essay I did not set out to give you an exhaustive picture of Putinism and, in general, of modern Russia – this would require a multivolume fundamental work, supported by even more extensive quantitative research and statistical data. This is only a laconic overview, the purpose of which is to induce those of you who really are interested in Russia and its people and are not indifferent to their destiny, to get acquainted independently with numerous testimonies (which are widely available in open access) about the processes taking place in the country. To facilitate this task you can find a list of references to various sources recommended for you in the text and in the footnotes as well as at the end of the article[1] .

  1. A wrong translation

Correct understanding of what is going on in the modern Russia implies understanding of what it does  constitute. In Russian – unlike English – there is a clear linguistic division of concepts «russki» (ethnic Russian) and «rossijski» (relating to Russia as a state). At the same time, both concepts are translated into English as «Russian», but there is a great difference between them.

According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, adopted in 1993 (shortly after the shooting of the then parliament from tanks), the state is a federation built on an ethnic basis, which is reflected in the territorial structure: of the 85 regions, 27[2] are “homelands” for ethnic minorities of Russia – thus ensuring the representation of their interests at the state level. “Own” regions are possessed by the Tatars, Chechens, Yakuts, Buryats and many other peoples of Russia.

Where, then, is the “Russian Republic” – a region representing 80% of the population of the whole country? There is no such region, there are only denationalized “krays” and “oblasts”, which are “regions for all”. Maybe there is a state body authorized to defend the rights of Russians at the federal level? Again, no. The federal government represents the interests of all citizens of Russia, regardless of nationality.

In the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation there is not even a mention of the Russian (in the ethnic sense) people, as in any other law of the Russian Federation.

Thus, ethnic Russians (~ 80% of the country’s population) even legally do not have any relation to the Russian Federation.

In addition, unlike the numerous diasporas who are in constant contact with the Russian authorities at all levels and successfully lobby their interests, there is no one political or public organization in Russia that would officially defend the interests of the Russians as a people. Any attempts by the Russians to create such an organization are suppressed as manifestations of “extremism.”

1) The main advocate of the interests of the Jewish diaspora in Russia; 2) the newspaper of the Azerbaijani diaspora: “We are for Putin. Putin is for us “

 2. Repressions against Russians

Moreover, the very formulation of the question of the rights of ethnic Russians in Russia is fraught with criminal prosecution. Vladimir Putin clearly indicated his position on the “Russian question” yet in the middle of the 2000s, calling the adherents of the slogan “Russia – for Russians”[3] “jerks and provocateurs”[4], and the struggle “with anti-Semitism, like … with any nationalism and chauvinism, – the basis of our domestic policy[5]”. In addition, such slogans as “Russian power for Russia” and even “Russian, do not drink!”, “”Russian” – means “sober”” [6] are officially considered extremist in Russia.

Thousands of Russian citizens – primarily nationalists – are in prison under “political” articles. The article 282 of the Criminal Code (“Raising hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity”) has already become a sad symbol of Putin’s totalitarianism, uniting against itself right-wing and left-wing activists, nationalists and liberals.

Is this a mistake of the Putin system, its defect? Definitely not. In a state like Russia, nationalism is one of the mobilizing forces – the forces that can lead the population out of social “dormancy” and motivate them to political struggle for their rights. The purpose of nationalists at this stage is essentially “the emancipation of the Russian people”, which is unthinkable in the autocratic post-Soviet kleptocracy, in a system where everything is decided exclusively “from the top down”, herewith with “individual approach”, by “agreements.” If it is possible for Kremlin to “reach an agreement” with, for example, the ethnocracies of the North Caucasus (who have long recognized themselves as political actors), simply giving them the next multibillion-dollar subsidies from the dwindling Russian budget, then how to negotiate with 120 million Russians across the country? They will have to radically reorganize the entire system, and the Kremlin does not need this at all. The system is afraid to communicate with large, poorly managed masses of people – even if they demonstrate loyalty.



  1. «Soviet Russia» is an oxymoron

With “historical Russia” – the Russian Empire – the Russian Federation also has nothing in common except the flag and the coat of arms. The RF is the official “continuer” of the USSR [7] – a country built on both worldview negation and the physical destruction of the social order that existed in Russia before 1917.

For 70 years, the Soviet system has often undergone cosmetic transformations, sometimes even borrowing elements of “past life”[8], while the real Russia was either physically destroyed (like millions of Russian peasants, officers, clergymen and intellectuals), or “squeezed” into emigration, or forced to go into deep underground. Here is an incomplete list of crimes committed by the Soviet government: the “Red Terror”, the famine of 1920-21, the genocide of the Cossacks, the repressions against the intellectuals in the late 1920s, the “collectivization” (destruction of the peasantry) and the Holodomor (which took place – in addition to Ukraine – in the Volga region and Kazakhstan), the terror of mid-late 1930s, many war crimes during the World War II, post-war repressions, the post-war famine, the testing of nuclear weapons on its own population in the 1950s, technological catastrophe in Chernobyl and many other. A lot of historical works are devoted to this topic, the most “classical” of which are the “GULAG Archipelago” by A. Solzhenitsyn and the “Black Book of Communism” by S. Courtois.

From the point of view of Russian nationalism, not unimportant is also the national composition of the top of the Bolshevik Party, the backbone of which was composed of Jews (more than half) and Caucasians [9].

The Russian resistance to Bolshevism lasted as long as Bolshevism itself:

  • After the October Revolution of 1917 the White Army, many times inferior to the Red forces in numbers, but a much more motivated, better-quality and better-organized, have “defended Russia from Soviet slavery for 3 years “[10];
  • In the interwar period in the south of Russia, in Siberia and other regions underground resistance groups acted, in Europe – Russian emigrants-anti-communists eliminated Soviet diplomats [11], carried out daring subversive attacks on Soviet territory [12], fought against the “red international” in Spain[13], the emigrant anticommunist movement embraced dozens of thousands of people on several continents – from Paris and New York to Shanghai and Harbin;
  • The Second World War gave the Russian people an unprecedented opportunity to crush the regime that destroyed it, but the ill-conceived and often Russophobian policy of the German leadership, and later – skilfully juggling “Russian patriotic themes” on Stalin’s part, buried this undertaking; nevertheless, according to various estimates, from 1 to 1.5 million Soviet citizens fought on the side of Germany and its allies, of which about a half were Russians, including Cossacks, traditional defense and the support of the Russian statehood (an unthinkable phenomenon in Russian history!), and in Central Russia Russian nationalists managed to create their own autonomy with a population of 581,000 people and, together with the Germans, to resist the gangs of red terrorists[14];

  • After the war, the partisan anti-communist movement fought against the Soviet regime not only in Ukraine and Belarus, but also in the Russian republic of the USSR;
  • The anti-Soviet struggle was fought even by prisoners in the camps of the Gulag;
  • Under Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the struggle within the USSR was clearly declining, taking mainly forms of dissident clubs and youth subcultures, but the struggle of emigrants continued, and cases of their participation were known even in the war against the Soviets in Korea and Vietnam.

I allowed myself to take your time by enumerating these numerous examples so that you would understand: for a Russian nationalist they are the real Russia, unlike the USSR, her slaughterer and usurper.

For your final understanding of how – in the worldview of a Russian nationalist, the right conservative – the Soviet Union and the present-day Russia relate to each other, I cite a few quotations:

  • General P. Krasnov, the hero of the anti-Bolshevik resistance, the Don Ataman: “General Vrangel was not mistaken when he said “Goodbye, Motherland!” and not “Goodbye, Russia!”: Russia and the Russians sailed away with him on ships “;
  • Philosopher I. Ilyin: “The Soviet State is not Russia. This historical and political truth must be understood and felt once and for all and to the end “;
  • Writer B. Shiryaev: “The real Russian is not the Soviet, but the opposite, it is the antithesis to him”;
  • Writer I. Shmelev: “No foreign invasion can be worse for the Motherland than the power of Leninists and Stalinists. The USSR is definitely not Russia, but the enemy of Russia “.


[1] Unfortunately most of them are in Russian (but Google Translate is still with us J )

[2] 22 national republics, 4 national autonomous regions, 1 autonomous region

[3] Originally the author of the phrase was the emperor of the Russian Empire Alexander III

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KcFQdLHL_w

[5] http://podrobnosti.ua/206946-putin-prizval-vnimatelno-otnositsja-k-antisemitizmu.html

[6] https://newsland.com/user/4297790089/content/lozung-quotrusskii-ne-peiquot-priznan-ekstremistskim/4552724, https://www.politforums.net/internal/1387181366.html

[7] http://studopedia.ru/7_46265_kontinuitet-v-otnoshenii-prav-i-obyazatelstv-sssr.html

[8] For example, under Stalin, who returned epaulettes and officer ranks to the army, and also partially “rehabilitated” the church. However, it should be understood that this body had no relation to the pre-revolutionary church, being completely under the control of the Soviet special services and often being headed by their employees

[9] http://maxpark.com/user/3121148154/content/2576518

[10] A.Turkul «Drozdovsky under fire» http://www.bookol.ru/dokumentalnaya_literatura_main/biografii_i_memuaryi/148038/str7.htm

[11] http://www.belrussia.ru/page-id-1402.html , http://www.belrussia.ru/page-id-1404.html

[12] http://www.dk1868.ru/history/LARIONOV.htm

[13] http://uriadnik.livejournal.com/54458.html

[14] See the map on the next page

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